By John Velleco
Director of Federal Affairs
President Obama is determined to eradicate the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens.
In recent meetings with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, the American President promised to urge the U.S. Senate to pass an international arms control treaty.
The treaty, cumbersomely titled the “Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials” (known by the acronym CIFTA), was signed by President Bill Clinton, but never ratified by the Senate.
President Obama is hoping to capitalize on an increased Democrat majority and push its quick ratification. The U.S. is one of four nations that have not ratified the treaty.
If ratified and the U.S. is found not to be in compliance with any provisions of the treaty -- such as a provision that would outlaw reloading ammunition without a government license -- President Obama would be empowered to implement regulations without Congressional approval.
Supporters of CIFTA claim the treaty is not a threat to the Second Amendment, but only a “symbolic” gesture. But symbolic of what? That America really is to blame for problems of violence and drug gangs in a foreign country? That the American government can be pressed by a foreign country to alter the Second Amendment?
If the kind of “change” that Obama wants is for the United States to take its marching orders from third world countries regarding our gun rights, we’re in big trouble!
The fact is, this treaty will do NOTHING to combat the violence in Mexico, but it will go a LONG WAY toward eroding our ability to protect the right to keep and bear arms through our elected officials.
Even if America BANNED ALL GUNS, the violence in Mexico would not go away. After all, the cartels are funded -- to the tune of billions of dollars -- by products (illegal drugs) that are already completely banned. How much more evidence is needed that a “prohibition” will not work?
Actually, gun control proposals such as reinstating the ban on semi-automatic firearms will make Americans less safe, especially if violence spills over to this side of the border.
As Wyoming Senator John Barasso pointed out in a recent trip to El Paso, Texas: “Why would you disarm someone when they potentially could get caught in the crossfire?... The United States will not surrender our second-amendment rights for Mexico’s border problem.”
President Obama disagrees and he continues to spread the myth about how many guns recovered in Mexico come from the U.S. “More than 90% of the guns found in Mexico are not bought [in Mexico], but in the United States,” he said.
William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott set the record straight and debunked “the 90% number” in a FOXNews.com report: “It’s just not true,” they said. According to their report, the real number is closer to 17%.
In other words, the Obama administration is pushing to disarm law-abiding Americans based on a massive misinformation campaign.
So how are the cartels armed if firearms are not pouring across the U.S. border? Keeping in mind that the cartels control BILLIONS of dollars, La Jeunesse and Lott shed some light on how they obtain the overwhelming majority of their guns:
-- The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.
-- Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.
-- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.
-- Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.
-- The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.
-- Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of America's cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.
In addition, despite efforts to clean up the system, corruption in the Mexican government is rampant. An article in the New York Times late last year noted that, “One of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels made huge cash payments to officials in the Mexican attorney general’s office in exchange for confidential information on anti-drug operations… the cartel might have had an informant inside the American embassy.”
The bribes ranged from $150,000 to $450,000 each. Clearly, these gangs have the resources not only to buy firearms by the planeload, but they can buy the planes, too! Politicians on both sides of the border seem to ignore that they’re dealing with multi-billion dollar criminal organizations that will always be able to get firearms.
One would think that Mexico President Felipe Calderón and Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora would have their hands full cleaning up a huge mess in their own country, but they’re not too busy to meddle in U.S. affairs.
As the Times noted in an article that coincided with Obama’s Mexico trip, “Mexican officials have repeatedly called on the United States to clamp down on the flow of weapons and are likely to bring it up again with President Obama on Thursday.”
Mr. Mora even lectured that “The Second Amendment was never meant to arm foreign criminal groups.”
American office holders should be more concerned about upholding their oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution than kowtowing to “blame America first” foreign politicians.